SINGAPORE (Oct 23): The manager of Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT) has announced distribution per unit (DPU) of 2.913 cents for the 4Q19 ended September, some 1.8% higher than DPU of 2.862 cents a year ago.

This brings full-year DPU for FY19 to 12.07 cents, edging up 0.5% from FY18 DPU of 12.015 cents.

In 4Q19, distributable income jumped 17.9% to $30.4 million, despite a dip in gross revenue and net property income.

The higher distributable income was mainly due to additional contributions from FCT’s shareholding in PGIM Real Estate AsiaRetail Fund (PGIM ARF) and Sapphire Star Trust (SST).

PGIM ARF, the largest non-listed retail mall fund in Singapore, owns and manages five retail malls– Tiong Bahru Plaza, White Sands, Hougang Mall, Century Square and Tampines 1 – and the Central Plaza office property in Singapore, as well as two retail malls in Malaysia. FCT in April this year brought its total stake in PGIM ARF to 18.80%.

SST is the private trust that owns Waterway Point, a suburban shopping mall located in Punggol. FCT completed its acquisition of a 40% stake in SST this year.

Compared to the strong growth in distributable income, the more modest DPU increase was due to an enlarged unit base.

Meanwhile, FCT saw its gross revenue dip 0.5% to $48.3 million in 4Q19, compared to $48.5 million in 4Q19.

Overall property expense during the quarter was 1.4% lower, bringing NPI to $32.8 million, a marginal 0.1% lower than the corresponding quarter last year.

The manager of FCT says the dip is due to non-cash accounting adjustments as a result of the adoption of a new accounting standard.

Excluding these non-cash accounting adjustments, revenue and NPI in 4Q19 would have been higher by 2.7% and 4.8%, respectively.

The improvement was due to higher average portfolio occupancy and higher contributions from Northpoint City North Wing, Changi City Point and YewTee Point.

As at end-September, cash and cash equivalents stood at $13.1 million.

The manager says FCT’s financial position remains strong with gearing level at 32.9% as at Sept 30, 2019.

The total appraised value of FCT’s portfolio of investment properties as at end-September stood at $2.85 billion, some 3.5% higher than a year ago.

The portfolio average rental reversion for FY19 is +4.8%, compared with +3.2% achieved in FY18, while portfolio occupancy rose 1.8 percentage points to 96.5% as at end-September.

“FY2019 is a transformational year for FCT,” says Richard Ng, CEO of the manager. “The Trust invested $910 million to acquire significant stakes in PGIM Real Estate AsiaRetail Fund and in Waterway Point, which reinforced FCT’s position and enlarged its market share in the Singapore suburban retail sector.”

“Together with the opportunity to acquire suburban retail assets from its sponsor Frasers Property, FCT now has a very strong pipeline of assets in Singapore, setting the stage for an exciting phase of growth,” Ng adds.

As at 9.15am, units in Frasers Centrepoint Trust are trading 1 cent higher at $2.74.